Monday, 13 August 2012

ArHi FF: Broken Melody - Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Accidents

The drive to her house lapsed in silence. They were both uncomfortable. Both lost in their own troubles. While Arnav was bothered by his newfound arousals, Khushi busied herself in an altogether different thought. About the events that had just passed between them. What had that been? What had it meant? The way he was looking at her.... She shuddered, feeling a cold shiver run down her spine. Friends didn't do that. Did they? Not that she had known many men in her life. She closed her eyes, leaning her back against the cool leather of the car seat. She wanted to forget. Pretend it never happened. Pretend that she hadn't felt something stir in her heart. It's nothing Khushi. Said a part of her. She wanted so badly to believe it. Wish there had been nothing in those few moments that had passed between them. But-

The car screeched to a sudden stop and Khushi felt herself being jolted out of her thoughts. Arnav cleared his throat. "S-Sorry about that." He stated. His voice was hoarse. As if he had not spoken for a long while. Khushi turned to face him, quizzically. "F-For stopping the car like that. But- uh- you're home." But the manner in which he apologized gave Khushi the idea that perhaps the abrupt brake that he had applied on the car was not the only reason he was sorry. "It's alright." She declared sharply. Her piercing gaze was enough to tell him that she had understood the real motive behind his apology. Don't think about it Arnav. He told himself. But the more he tried to forget about it, the more he seemed to remember it. The way she had so carefully applied the bandages on his forehead. The way she had looked at him...so analytical...so concerned. And the intimacy. They had barely been an inch apart.

Arnav shook his head, trying to clear it of the uncomfortable thoughts. His face suddenly hardened.
"Your duty starts tomorrow at 9:00 AM sharp. There is no set finish time. My work is such that you will probably need to work some odd hours here and there. I could need you at any point so you must be reachable at all times. Is that understood?" Khushi blinked in surprise, wondering if this was the same man she had met a few hours ago. Gone was the friendly, happy-go-lucky man and in his place was Arnav Singh Raizada - a business man in the true sense.
Without a word, Khushi stepped out of the car, removing Arnav's fall coat that he had loosely draped around her shoulders. "Keep it." He cut in as he saw her about to hand him the jacket. "You can return it tomorrow." Though she was reluctant in taking it back, she did. "Thank you for the ride home sir." She whispered. And this time Arnav didn't correct her. "I look forward to working with you miss Gupta." He declared as he started his car and left.

Khushi walked through the door, throwing the keys on the coffee table while peeling away the t-shirt and shorts (courtesy Arnav). She stared at the two pieces of clothing, remembering the morning. Everything around her seemed to remind her of the morning. Her head was spinning. So much had happened. Despite seeming that nothing had changed, she knew that her world had somehow changed completely overnight. And she didn't like it. She didn't know why, but somehow it felt as if nothing would ever be the same anymore. I shouldn't have met him. I should have paid more attention while crossing the road yesterday. If I had, he wouldn't have bumped into me, we wouldn't have met, I wouldn't have been late, Cindy wouldn't have realized there was a problem, she wouldn't have invited me to the club, I wouldn't have gone, I wouldn't have gotten in trouble and I wouldn't have met him. It was my fault. This entire thing was my fault. She groaned, burying her head in her hands. I don't want this. She whispered. I don't want any of this. I just want it to be the way it was three years ago. Arjun and I.... We were so close. Devi mayyia, you saw how much we loved each other didn't you? Why did you let it happen? You have the power to do anything right? Why didn't you stop it then? She didn't realize when she had started to cry. Her eyes were red and sore from the tears. But it was nothing compared to the pain in her heart. Stop it Khushi. She thought, angrily wiping her cheeks. No more crying. You promised yourself. You promised jiji. She closed her eyes, wishing for the strength to fight. "I'm losing it..." She whispered. "I'm losing it."

Her thoughts were interrupted by the shrill ringing of her cell phone. Her sister. "N-Namaste jiji." She greeted into the speaker. "What's the matter Khushi?" She asked, sharply, recognizing the shakiness in Khushi's voice. "Are you alright?" Khushi blinked back her tears. After a certain incident that had taken place over at Arnav's house, she herself was not sure anymore. "I'm fine jiji." She lied, trying to normalize her voice.

"I got a job. At AR companies." Khushi added, changing the topic, although not really. "Seriously?" Her sister asked, amused. "And what about your job at the bookstore?" Khushi shrugged, heading into the kitchen and opening the fridge. She pulled out a box of jalebis. They were her one sole companion when it came to dealing with any kind of problem. She couldn't help but sigh when her eyes fell on the yummy rounds of yellow goodness. Popping one in her mouth, she declared, "The pay was crappy over there anyways. I had to quit it sometime. And I guess now was the time. Although I still haven't told Phil about my decision." Phil was both the owner of the bookstore where she had worked and her (ex-)boss. "And besides. Working for AR companies was always my dream."

Payal whistled. "Impressive! So now you'll be promoted from being plain old Khushi to being Ms. Gupta eh? By the way, how did you end up getting the job?" The events from the morning flooded her mind. "I.. I don't want to talk about it jiji. And... I should go now. I've got to get lunch prepared too." She said, trying to avoid any other conversation.

"Wait! Khushi! I have to talk to you." Khushi's heart filled with a sudden dread at the silence that progressed. She knew what was coming. She placed another jalebi in her mouth, preparing herself for the conversation. "Have you thought about it?" Payal asked. A sudden seriousness came over her voice. "Thought about what, jiji?" Khushi asked, pretending to be oblivious. Payal sighed. "Stop being difficult Khushi. You know all to well what I'm talking about." She did know. But after a moment of silence, Payal was forced to answer her own question. "You haven't even considered it, have you?" Silence. Again. "Look, Khushi. As your older sister, I have every right to be concerned about you... you and your future." Khushi sighed, rubbing her temples with her fingers. "Please jiji. Stop it now." Payal's voice grew louder. Slightly more aggressive. "Why Khushi?! Why do you want me to stop when you yourself know that I'm right?! Khushi, accidents happen with everyone. But you have to get over them. You have to move on. And that's life." Khushi's eyes brimmed with tears.

"Really, jiji? Really? Are you sure you're the one who should be giving me this advice?! You couldn't POSSIBLY know what I'm going through jiji! You couldn't possibly know! You and Akash jiju love each other to bits. You have a great relationship, 2 kids, and ultimately, a perfect life! Do you know how it feels to lose someone who was so close to you? So close that he knew your every breath and heartbeat? Do you know what it means to love someone so deeply that every moment of separation kills you? Do you know the isolation...the lonliness you feel when destiny snatches them away from you? No jiji. You don't! But ask me! And I'll tell you! Each minute of life is a punishment for me! I have nothing left to live for! No one left to live for. With every breath I take, I pray that it may be my last. It hurts so much jiji! It hurts! And nearly every day you call me to ask if I am willing to consider a second marriage. Jiji, I LOVED him...no... not loved... TO THIS DAY I love him! And everytime you call, you remind me of him! Of that day when he left me! Please... Please jiji. I beg of you. Don't try to fix my life. My life is too messed up to be fixed." Sobbing, she flung her cell phone across the floor.

Suddenly, an excruciating wave of pain rushed to her head. Her hands flew to her forehead, groaning as the pain grew. The blood quickly rushed from her face as realization struck. Oh no. She thought. Not again. She barely had time to get a grip on herself before she was swung into a cold world of darkness.

This vision was different from the last. For one thing, it was much clearer. Not blurry or staticy as the last one had been. The voices, however, were the same as they were last time. Slightly muffled in the beginning leading to profound clarity with the progression of the vision. She could see the entire scene playing out before her. It was as if she was watching a movie with a remote control that was not in her hands. It was nighttime. A cold night. The season? Probably sometime in the middle of fall.. That meant that the vision was likely to occur in the next few months. The scene changed. It was a road. Empty. Except for a single car. It was a silver honda. It drove past her, screeching loudly as it did so. The car was unstable. She could tell that much from the swerving of it. Was the driver drunk? Was he hurt? Did something go wrong with the car? And then she saw it. The cliff. There was a cliff and the car was speeding right towards it. Khushi's heart stopped. She wanted to help. She wanted to something to save the driver. But she was helpless. The vision was not in her control. As horrible as the vision was, she focussed on the scene in front of her, trying to concentrate. Trying to look for any clue that might tell her what was going to happen. Or who it was going to happen to. License plate. That was it. She had to get a look at the license plate! Her head was pounding to such an extent that she could feel tears rushing down her cheeks even in the midst of the vision. But she had to do this. It took all the strength within her to accomplish the task. Even so, the letters on the license plate were blurry. Come on Khushi. You have to do this. She thought to herself. She took a deep breath, trying her best to read the blurry letters. A.... the first letter was an A. She squinted, trying to make out the rest. And then there was an F.... She could read the next letter but she was certain that the last letter was an E. Now the numbers. There were only three of them. But they seemed as impossible as the letters. The first seemed to be something of a 3... and the second was a 2. She knew that much. However, the last number was as illegible as the letter that she had missed. The letter... well... it seemed something like a K. She wasn't a hundred percent certain of it, but it would have to do. Now for the final number. Her head ached as she tried harder to make it out. But it was no use. She couldn't tell. It seemed nothing but a blur to her.

Before she could try anymore, she was jolted out of the vision. She found herself on the kitchen floor, gasping for breath. She had just seen an accident take place. Someone was going to die a horrible death if she didn't do something soon. The license plate. She tried to remember the letters of the license plate. AFKE 32.... She hadn't been able to read the last number. Who could it have been? She thought back to her vision. The road she had seen wasn't in India. She knew that. That meant that the person in her vision couldn't have been jiji. What about Cindy? No... that wasn't her license plate. Phil? He didn't even have a silver honda. And then it hit her. Arnav...? He had driven her home in a car that looked similar to the one in her vision.... but she had no idea what his license plate was! She had to call him. She had to warn him.

Quickly, she reached for her cellphone. Shit. It's broken. Dropping it onto the floor once more, she rushed to the landline. His number. What's his number?! Khushi groaned, sinking to the ground. She had to call him. The question was, how? The directory? Could that help? Quickly getting to her feet, she searched for the yellow book. "Where is it... where is it...?" She murmured. Her heart thumped in her chest. What if something happened to him while she was searching for it? Stop it Khushi. Don't even think about it. Suddenly, her eyes fell on the brown coat. Arnav's coat. She rushed to it, digging in the pockets. It has to have something. Something that will help me find his phone number. As she searched, her hand fell upon something hard. His wallet. Silently sending a prayer of thanks, she pulled it out, dumping its contents onto the floor. But what she saw was disheartening. The wallet comprised of a few hundred dollar bills, some change and crumpled paper. She dug through it, hoping against hope that she might find something of use.

All of a sudden, she saw a small manilla paper. It was thick and rectangular in shape. A business card. AR companies. It said on the top. She laughed, wanting to do a victory dance. She had found it. This had to have his number! Sure enough, in the bottom left hand corner was a ten digit phone number. She rushed to her phone, quickly dialing it. Pick up, pick up, pick up.... She prayed.
"Who is this?" He called into the phone. "Arnavji?" She asked, breathlessly. He sounded surprised as he responded, "Khushi, is that you?"

"Arnavji, what kind of car do you have?" She closed her eyes, hoping he would say anything but what she was expecting. "A honda. Why?" Her voice escaped weakly as she added, "Colour?"
"Silver! But Khushi, why are you asking?" He sounded confused. "What's your license plate number?" she asked holding her breath. She could hear a faint chuckle escape from the opposite end. "What is this, 20 questions?" Khushi groaned. "Please Arnavji, this is not funny. Just answer my question." Arnav let out a low sigh as he answered her.

"It's AFKE 326."

5 comments:

  1. pls update fast!!the storyline is amazing..wanna read more of your ffs

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  2. pls update!its been almost 5 months..there was some error so couldn't comment..but pls update fast!!!!!

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  3. Hahah!!! Ok! I'll update! I'll update!!! Promiseeee!!!

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  4. Thank you so much for your comments!!! I really appreciate the enthusiasm!!!

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